June 5, 2015
For Immediate Release
Contact: Russ Anderson
214-774-1351
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Top players from nine regions lauded Bookmark and Share
NCBWA NAMES 2015 DIVISION I
DISTRICT PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

DALLAS (NCBWA) For the 15th consecutive year the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association has announced its 2015 District Players of the Year on Friday, honoring 10 of the nation's top performers.

The 2015 NCBWA District Players of the Year are District I: 2B Mike Garzillo (Lehigh); District II: 1B Connor Panas (Canisius); District III: SS Dansby Swanson (Vanderbilt) & SP Carson Fulmer (Vanderbilt); District IV: SP Mike Shawaryn (Maryland); District V: RP Tyler Jay (Illinois); District VI: SP Michael Freeman (Oklahoma State); District VII: OF Andrew Benintendi (Arkansas); District VII: 2B Ryan Howell (Nevada); District IX: RP David Berg (UCLA).

On Thursday, Benintendi, Berg, Fulmer and Swanson were each named finalists for the 2015 Dick Howser Trophy, presented to the nation's best collegiate player.

Some of the previous NCBWA District Players of the Year who have been recipients of the Dick Howser Trophy, include Mark Teixiera (Georgia Tech), Mark Prior (USC), Khalil Greene (Clemson), Rickie Weeks (Southern), Jered Weaver (Long Beach State), Alex Gordan (Nebraska), Brad Lincoln (Houston), David Price (Vanderbilt), Buster Posey (Florida State), Stephen Strasburg (San Diego State), Taylor Jungmann (Texas), Mike Zunino (Florida) and Kris Bryant (San Diego). In 2014, Kentucky two-way star AJ Reed won the Howser Trophy after leading the nation in home runs and the Southeastern Conference in pitching victories.

A junior second baseman out of Wind Gap, Pa., Garzillo finished his season hitting a team-leading .359 with conference-leading totals in RBI (54), homers (13) and slugging percentage (.651). The Patriot League MVP, Garzillo was named to the 2015 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional All-Tournament Team.

Panas, a first-team All-MAAC selection, hit .372 with 17 doubles, seven triples, 11 homers and 68 RBI, while stealing 19-of-24 bases. A native of Toronto, Ontario, Panas led the MAAC in RBI and helped pace Canisius to 34 wins and berth in the NCAA Springfield Regional.

Swanson, a junior from Marietta, Ga., has earned All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball and second-team All-SEC accolades by the league's coaches. Swanson is hitting .348 with 22 doubles, six triples, 14 homers and 71 runs scored, ripping 86 hits. Swanson's 14 homers are the most for a VU shortstop since Ryan Flaherty belted 14 in 2008 with his 14th homer coming as a game-winning, two-run blast on Saturday vs. Indiana. Swanson has helped guide the Commodores back to the NCAA Super Regional round after leading Vandy to its first NCAA Championship in 2014.

Fulmer has had one of the best seasons in Vanderbilt history on the mound, claiming the SEC pitching triple crown after leading the league in wins (12), ERA (1.92) and strikeouts (147). A Collegiate Baseball first-team All-America selection, Fulmer's 147 strikeouts in 107.2 innings mark the third-most in Vanderbilt single-season history. Fulmer has achieved at least 11 strikeouts in seven of his 16 starts and has tossed three complete games, including two shutouts.

A native of Carneys Point, N.J., Shawaryn has had a prolific season for the Terps, pacing Maryland back to the NCAA Super Regional for the second consecutive year. Shawaryn has a 13-2 record with a 1.66 ERA in 16 starts, striking out 133 in 108.2 innings, issuing only 28 walks and holding opponents to a .199 average. A first-team All-America selection by Collegiate Baseball, Shawaryn owns 24 career wins, the most among all NCAA sophomores, and has accepted an invitation to join the USA Collegiate National Team during the summer.

A junior southpaw, Jay has been a force for the Illinois bullpen in 2015, recording 14 saves, a 5-1 record and a 0.60 ERA. Jay has appeared in 29 games with one start, hurling 60.1 innings, allowing only seven walks, striking out 70. A finalist for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year award, Jay has held opponents to a .151 average, with 26 of the 30 hits he has allowed on the year coming as singles. Jay has helped Illinois to a staggering 27 game winning streak in 2015, with the Illini set to host Vanderbilt in a supper regional, starting on Saturday.

Freeman, a senior southpaw out of Broken Arrow, Okla., was named the Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Year after totaling a 10-3 record and a 1.31 ERA in 15 games. Freeman worked four complete games and tossed 109.2 innings, surrendering only 72 hits and 29 walks and striking out 97. A second-team All-America selection by Collegiate Baseball, Freeman totaled a 5-2 record and a 0.80 ERA in Big 12 play.

A native of Cincinnati, Benintendi has had a dynamic sophomore season, earning SEC Player of the Year honors and National Player of the Year accolades from Collegiate Baseball. Benintendi is on the brink of becoming the third player in SEC history to lead the league in homers and average, sporting a two-homer lead and a 13-point edge in average. He has a .390 average, 13 doubles, two triples, 18 homers and 54 RBI, stealing 22-of-26 bases. Benintendi owns a .723 slugging and a .491 on-base percentage, leading the SEC in average, homers, slugging, on-base percentage and walks.

Howell, a junior out of Brentwood, Calif., transferred to Nevada for the 2015 season and had a prolific season. Howell hit .312 in 56 games, belting 14 doubles, three triples, 17 homers and 65 RBI. Howell led the Mountain West in slugging and his 17 homers are the most for a Nevada player since 2004. Howell, who opened his career at Oregon State, helped pace Nevada to 41 wins and the first Mountain West Conference Championship in program history.

Berg, UCLA's senior closer, is a finalist for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year award. A Collegiate Baseball All-America selection, Berg was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year after owning a 7-1 record and a 0.68 ERA with 13 saves over a NCAA-leading 43 appearances. A native of Covina, Calif., Berg struck out 65 and issued just eight walks in 66.2 innings. Berg allowed just one earned run in Pac-12 action, with a 5-0 mark and a 0.22 ERA in 22 appearances.

The group, divided into areas as follows, District I: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania; District II: Connecticut, West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, District of Columbia; III: Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida; IV: Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland; V: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin; VI: Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota; VII: Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana; VIII: Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Montana; District IX: California, Oregon, Washington, Hawai'i, Arizona, Alaska.

Dist. Player Pos. School Cl. Hometown
I Mike Garzillo 2B Lehigh Jr. Wind Gap, Pa.
Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania
II Connor Panas 1B Canisius Sr. Toronto, Ontario
Connecticut, West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, District of Columbia
III Dansby Swanson SS Vanderbilt Jr. Marietta, Ga.
III Carson Fulmer P Vanderbilt Jr. Lakeland, Fla.
Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida
IV Mike Shawaryn P Maryland So. Carneys Point, N.J.
Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland
V Tyler Jay RP Illinois Jr. Lemont, Ill.
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin
VI Michael Freeman P Oklahoma State Sr. Broken Arrow, Okla.
Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota
VII Andrew Benintendi OF Arkansas So. Cincinnati, Ohio
Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana
VIII Ryan Howell 2B Nevada Jr. Brentwood, Calif.
Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Montana
IX David Berg RP UCLA Sr. Covina, Calif.

California, Oregon, Washington, Hawai'i, Arizona, Alaska

Complete release with statistics (.pdf)

Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. For more information about the NCBWA, visit the association's official Web site, ncbwa.com.